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24 March 2017 01:58 (South Africa)

Radical Islamists capture Somali town on border with Kenya

Radical Islamist al-Shabaab militants have seized the Somali town of Dhobley near Kenya, causing civilians to flee across the border. About a week ago they also grabbed the nearby town of Afmadow. Al-Shabaab has been battling its former allies from the Hizbul Islam militant group for control of the southern Somali port of Kismayu. Washington says al-Shabaab is a proxy for al-Qaeda in Somalia. They have been fighting the Western-backed government in the capital, Mogadishu, pummelling African Union peacekeepers with truck bombs and mortar attacks, and killing a reported 19,000 civilians since early 2007. Many civilians fled to Dhobley in past years to escape the violence in Mogadishu, only to see the war catch up with them once again. Read more: Reuters, AllAfrica.com, IRIN News

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